Do your children have Facebook “friends” who are about to become suspects?
Nowadays, every cop on the street has been to a call or taken a report involving social media. Ask any officer who is assigned to a school detail or sexual assault detective and they’ll have plenty of stories that will make your jaw hit the floor that involve some type of social media.
About two years ago, I was dispatched to an assault and battery call in one of our run down neighborhoods in the northern part of the city. When I arrived, I spoke to a sixteen year old girl, who had been drinking.
“What happened,” I asked.
“This guy punched me and left me here.”
“Who is he?”
“I met him on Facebook.”
One day she got a friend request from someone she had never met before. Rather than ignore it like I would, she clicked on the accept button.
She then started messaging this male who she had never met before. After a while she agreed to go to a party with him.
A day later he picked her up and took her to the party, which was at some unknown location. There were two other females in the car with them. Once at the party she started drinking. Of course, her parents had no idea where she was.
When they finally left the party he was supposed to drive her home. As they were driving the girl noticed they were going the wrong way. She told the suspect this, but he pulled to the curb and told her to get out.
She refused and told the suspect to take her home. She didn’t want to get stranded in this strange neighborhood at night. He again told her to get out. She pretested and refused to exit the vehicle.
Apparently he had enough. He got out of the car and went to the passenger side where she was sitting. He opened the door and dragged her out of the car. He then punched her in the face as he kept telling her to get out.
When he was done hitting her he got back into the car and drove away, leaving her on the side of the road at midnight.
I asked the victim if she knew his phone number or where he lived. She had no information on him except for what was posted on Facebook. No license plate number either.
I asked to see his Facebook page to try and get some information about him, but she didn’t have a phone. She had an iPod instead, which was at home.
I drove her home and explained to her mother what had happened. The mother was a Spanish speaker and I had to use a translator to assist me. She seemed concerned, but she had no idea who her daughter went with tonight.
I stood in the living room while the victim went to her bedroom to get her iPod. She returned from the bedroom and handed it to me. The suspect’s profile page was showing. I saw his picture and his name. Below the name were the words, “Add Friend.”
I showed her the iPod and said, “He unfriended you already.” That didn’t take long for her to be kicked to the Facebook curb of “unfriended” status.
She took a look at the iPod and was shocked to see they were no longer Facebook friends anymore. Not that they were ever really friends in the first place.
I left the apartment shaking my head at the ignorance of this victim and her mother. Neither one of them really saw the problem here. They just didn’t get it. They didn’t understand how bad things could’ve ended up tonight.
Watch out for your kids!
Stayed tuned for my next Facebook story…….